DIY WEDDING MADE EASY | free designs for your diy desires | My Favorite Picks! (Plus a crazy update regarding the site & GoDaddy servers…)

Ok, before I get into what the above is all about, I just wanna say that I really hope everyone had themselves super enjoyable/rewarding/relaxing Memorial Day weekends!  For the most part, the weather ’round here was ridiculously gorgeous, and it seemed pretty hard not to have a good time, regardless of what we were doing.  In fact, just stepping outside made my day.  Though playing a little tennis and getting half my body into a pool certainly didn’t hurt matters.  What does that mean?  That means that I was faced with frigid pool waters, and I was the only one – among numerous children – who could not get my body to dip past the belly button point.  What I had always believed to be the most difficult body part to submerge, the “undercarriage,” was already safely tucked beneath the icy surf.  But the water remained intolerable.  Mind you, six-year-olds with arm floaties were all around me, having a collective ball.  And I’m sure none of them quite understood or cared about what I was going through.  I seriously hung there, perched with my ass beneath the water line.  Oh, the shame.  (For the record, it was really, really cold.)

But I did push the fiancé in the pool about five times.  That was awesome.  Mainly because I always waited until his body had warmed sufficiently to make the cold water startling again.  Good times!!  (;

Anyway, y’all know how much I love Martha Stewart, right?  Well, it’s almost as much as I love southern dialects.  But seriously, I cherish Martha Stewart Weddings for all the DIY goodies and inspiration the resource always has to offer.  So I decided to sort through it all and I’ve collected a hefty bunch of my favorites for your consideration.  I hope you love!

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So, you see those jam jars up top?  Ok, well I am OBSESSED with their lid labels.  Completely obsessed.  Jam jars are such a popular idea for weddings these days, and these labels are my current favorite way to top them!  Get the clip art here!


Totally in lust with this idea.  Make your girls their very own lace clutches!  How gorgeous are these?  Not to mention crazy simple to create – all there is to do is print the clip art onto heat-transfer paper, then just iron the designs onto fabric!  Get the clip art here!


I seriously covet these monogram labels; they’re just perfect for your favor boxes, and whatever else you’d like to monogram!  :)  Get the clip art here!


I absolutely adore these place card designs and highly recommend them for your wedding.  They’re really quite elegant, and all you need to do is print them on preperforated card stock.  Done and done!  Get the clip art here!


How much do these lil cupcake flags rock?!!  Get the clip art here!


Also loving these miniature gift bag prints!  Get the clip art here!


How about creating your own uniquely designed cookie tins with Martha’s download-and-print doily labels?  I know – so cute.  They come in red, blue, and green, too.  Get the clip art here!


I am in love with the beauty of these custom Blueprint wrapping papers!!!  I think they’d look amazing as part of your decor.  There are five in all, and only Martha has them.  Pretty rad.  Get them here!


Last but not least, there’s this too adorable cookie gift sleeve label.  You have a whole bunch of different label options, for pretty much any occasion (for a wedding, go with “for you to enjoy“).  All you’ll need besides the clip art are CD envelopes and adhesive paper.  Get the clip art here!

So, what do you think?  Do any of these catch your eye as a fabulous DIY?  I’m curious what you guys think!

xoxo!  -Alison

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By the way, check out some of my favorite posts from the recent past:

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After at least a month of server error messages, random admin logouts and a constantly spotty at best site connection, GoDaddy FINALLY admitted yesterday that it’s their servers, and not anything we’re doing wrong.  This, after being told upwards of 40 times that it’s something we’re doing wrong.  I kid you not.  Upwards of 40 times.  Finally, after much anguish and through-the-night-every-night-troubleshooting on our part, downloading and restoring databases, uninstalling, installing and reconfiguring plugins, tears (yeah, I cried a lot, I’ll admit it), GoDaddy revealed yesterday that “certain servers are not functioning properly.”  That my site “is on the list of affected sites.”  That they’ve “got their best guys on the job.”  Progress thus far?  “Umm, well we haven’t solved it yet.”  When will it be solved – ballpark?  “We can’t seem to pinpoint the problem, because, you see, we aren’t seeing the error messages that everyone else is seeing outside of our network.  So we’re having trouble figuring out why the servers are malfunctioning… but we’re hard at work on it.”  Can you do something, like migrate me to a new server that isn’t shitty?  “No, nope, we can’t do that.  Sorry.”  Really?  “Yeah, sorry.  That’s not something we can do.”  Oh.

Can you stand it?

I can’t anymore.  So I’m letting the world know, after too many sleepless nights and lost traffic.

GoDaddy is dishonest and chooses to blame the customer for its own failures.  The people on the front lines have been as kind as possible, but their supervisors have perpetuated a cover-up, and are hardly if at all concerned with customer satisfaction.

That’s all for now.  Just thought I should spread the word at this point, since I am now aware that this is a widespread problem, and that GoDaddy is not making efforts to alert anyone affected.

Lastly, THANK YOU to everyone who contacted me to see what was wrong with the site and where it disappears to at random times throughout the day.  I can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated your concern.  Thanks so much for caring!  At least we finally have the knowledge that weren’t doing anything wrong this whole entire time.  But it certainly doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

I’ll be providing updates, mostly on twitter, regarding GoDaddy’s behavior and how things progress as far as how we decide to proceed from here.  I hope there aren’t too many of you experiencing these same issues!  It’s traumatizing, truly.

‘Til later!

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Can I borrow this?  I mean, you are done with it.  Sooooo…

Oh, and the shoes, too.  Thaaaaaanks!

Here’s why I love this dress (which was featured in one of Abby’s amazing real weddings on Style Me Pretty):

I’ve always been frustrated by two very conflicting desires I have for “THE DREAM” dress.  One desire is to have a gown that is simple, playful and girlie, which, for me, translates to just right above the knee.  Plus, everybody has a certain feature that they love about themselves, and for me, it’s my gams.  (And if you don’t have a feature that you love about yourself, STOP IT.  YOU’RE BEING TOO CRITICAL.  And if you’re really having trouble, ask someone if you must… in fact it’ll probably make your day.)  The other (equally strong) desire is to achieve a classic, elegant look, and not to appear foolish and/or stunted.  Which, for me, translates most likely to a floor-length gown.  I’ve always assumed that there’s really no in-between, aside from those mid-calf-cutting pedal pusher frocks.  And what I know for certain is that I will NOT wear a dress that cuts me off mid-calf.  Here’s a little history on that…

When I was younger, I didn’t look like what these 13- and 14-year-old-girls look like these days.  I don’t know why, maybe I didn’t drink enough hormone-laden milk products during my formative years.  Whatever.  I just didn’t look like a woman when I was a child.  And in more recent years, I’ve totally embraced that fact.  It gave me a few more years to be a kid, and for that, I’m grateful.  But it wasn’t doing me any favors back when I was living it.  The reason I’m telling you that story is because two features I haaaaaaaaaaaated about my body were calf 1 and calf 2.  I really, really, really hated them.  And I wasn’t yet the towering 5’4 I am now, so my legs were shorter… and I played soccer.  And my mother is German.  Sooooo… I had muscular calves.  I think they were the recessive and dominant genes available… it was my destiny.  They weren’t like these massive calves by any means, it’s just that everyone pointed them out, and how “powerful” they looked.  (Thanks, everyone, for that, by the way.)

When I think back on what they said, I realize that they were being more flattering than anything else, but you really can’t blame me.  I mean, come on, these were the puber-tastic days.  Puberty is defined as not being able to process the pointing out of extremely unique bodily features as a good thing.  That is the definition.  So I felt hopelessly different, and it totally made the issue far worse in my mind than it ever was.

Anywho, fast-forward a couple years later, and everything changed.  EH. VRUH. THUH.  I got those things the milk drinkers got – but they came about naturally, which was obviously best.  It was a case of latent (or maybe, appropriately-timed?) genetic onset.  And boy was life full of sunshine and lollipops from that point, forward.  (HAHAHH, just kidding.  Boobs and proportional legs do not a perfect life make, Heidi Montag Pratt.  But I think you already know that at this point.  Actually, do you?)

… Anyway, that kinda sorta in a roundabout way leads me to why I’m a fan of this dress.  It’s a sweet little combo of elegant, floor-length style, and tea-length playfulness, all rolled up into one heck of a gown.  With no mid-calf cutting of any kind!

Aaalllllright!  So!  Enough about me, eh?  Picture time:

About the dress, since you’re probably wondering: Melody (the bride) purchased it in Manhattan at Cheap Jack’s Vintage Store – I am NOT messing with you, this is real – and had it custom altered to fit her more modern aesthetic:

“My dress was purchased at Cheap Jacks Vintage store in Manhattan for $350. It has no tags, so it might be homemade, circa the 50’s/60’s.  It was full length and I had it cut off to be short in the front and long in the back, removed the straps and a pink flower applique, added a jeweled belt, and basically redesigned the entire thing…”

Yeah.  She wasn’t kidding around.  Amazing job, Melody.

By the way, this girl and I were separated at birth.  Evidence:

“My headpiece was purchased on Etsy. It’s actually three things all pinned on my head together because I couldn’t find one I liked by itself.”

My dear sister.  We are reunited at last.

Looooove what’s goin’ on with her MOH’s get-up, too:

And finally, my fave shot of the day, below.

Isn’t it lovely?  Isn’t it wooonderrrrrfuuul?

Credits, courtesy of Style Me Pretty:

Photographer: Craig Paulson / Venue: The Foundry in Long Island City / Wedding Dress: Purchased at Cheap Jack’s Vintage Store; custom altered by the bride / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hair Accessories: Twigs & Honey / Bride’s Tattoo: Marco Serio at Invisible NYC / Hair: Lisa Carroll from Tommy Guns salon in NYC / Maid of Honor’s dress: Foley and Corinna / MOH shoes: Calvin Klein / MOH hair piece: Latish Angeline

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VINTAGE INSPIRATION ❦ e-session props + details I love ❦ Simply Bloom Photography

I am SO EXCITED about these pictures.

I think it’s no secret around here how positively OBSESSED I am with the ladies of Simply Bloom.  But here‘s some proof.  Here, too.

And here‘s a more recent post featuring one of their yummiest engagement sessions EVUH.  If you decide to click on it, you’ll see that I included a teaser in anticipation of this exact shoot that I am so freakin’ excited to share with you now.  I am, like, bursting at the seams right now over this shoot!!!

The biggest thing I take away from these photos – aside from their outRAGEOUS beauty and color – is the impact that just a few thoughtfully chosen details can have on your very own e-session.  If you’re looking to ramp up the cute factor of your upcoming shoot, I suggest taking some pointers from Vania and Christine’s direction with this shoot (they’re the dynamic duo behind Simply Bloom).  This means a trip to the antique store is a MUST.  You never know what you’ll find and that makes it SOOOOO FUUUUN.  In this shoot, the ladies employed a brilliantly colored french cookbook, a tea set, a honey bear, eggs, an apron, mini paper lanterns, some desserts… ok they went crazy with props.  And I love them all the more for it – just look at the results!!!  BUT you don’t need ALL of this to make your e-session stand out, I promise.  Even just one or two props, if carefully chosen, can a perfectly pretty e-session make.  No antique stores nearby?  I’d advise checking out your local Anthropologie.  A bit more pricey, but hey, it’s your engagement… which means it’s worth it, OBVIOUSLY.  Plus, they almost always have a nice gathering of odds and ends in their sale section.  For example, last time I went they had this huge wicker basket of totally random and totally rad door knobs.  An inspiration shoot stylist’s dream.

Final thought on the matter: it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the ladies of Simply Bloom taking your pictures.  ;)

Want to see the rest?  That’s a stupid question.  Click here to go straight to the Simply Bloom blog for more!

Photos: Simply Bloom Photography

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E-SESSION DRESS LOVE ♡ What to Wear for YOUR Totally Rad Engagement Shoot!

Remember that fit I said I was having over an upcoming blog post?  Well, here’s the culprit.  That is, aside from the Nutella which a dear friend so helpfully pointed out was contributing to the twitches.  Now’s as good a time as any to admit that I was essentially free-basing Nutella for the better half of yesterday.  It was my first time, and I overdid it.  I learned my lesson.  No biggie.  No big whoop.  Who caaaaares?!!  Ok, WHAT THE F IS GOING ON.

Enough.  Let’s get straight to it…

When I visit sites like LuLu’s, I get a little overwhelmed.

Now, when you go check it out, you’ll notice that yes, some of the dresses on there are decidedly slutty.  Like, for example, the fact that they’re selling this as a “top,” in the “tops” section.  Yes, just put those aside.  If you can do that, there’s seriously not much more muck to trudge through on this site.  Which leads me to the overwhelmed thing I started in on a few sentences ago.  I tend to have this combined physical and mental response – I get all discombobulated – and it’s the result of seeing a bazillion adorable frocks, all at extremely fair prices.  When the two chemically react with one another they cause my mind to blow up in ecstasy.  Pure, unadulterated, magically delicious (and oh how perfect would it be if it was also sexual) ecstasy.

But putting aside my only recently surfacing unfulfilled desires for fashion-sex, I have some advice for you.

Wear one of these for your engagement photo session.  If you do, you will like the way your pictures turn out.  Trust.

Moon Terrace Dress

Souvenir Dress

Divine Approval Dress

Take It Slow Dress

Deft Precision Dress

Femme Fatale Dress

Boston Fancy Dress

Double Cross Dress

Sweetest Thing Dress

Paint the Roses Red Dress

Guess what?  You can find all that yumminess over at LuLu’s.  You’re welcome.  ;)

So, I’m really curious… which ones are your favorites?  Let’s talk fashion, people!

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SEXY E-SESSION LOVE | Joyce + Joey + Boudoir | Strike a Pose with Your Honey for the World to See…

I saw this PHENOMENAL e-session on Wedding Chicks the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes.  Let me explain.

There have been a LOT more risqué photo shoots on the internets these days.  But just because they’re becoming more prevalent, it doesn’t mean I’m getting used to them.  Each time I catch a glimpse of a brand spankin’ new butt, or the side-most section of a titter-tatter, I feel like a peeping Tom.  It’s like I’m seeing something I shouldn’t be seeing…

But then I scroll down – because you can’t look away… I mean, right? – and I’m usually met with a bevy of absolutely stunning, evocative images that prove to me, almost every time, how beautiful and important these sessions truly are to the subjects involved.  Of course, there’s the obvious drive in pretty much all of us to capture forever on film the smooth, supple skin of our youth… the fleeting, all over “perkiness,” if you will.  But there’s also a deeper, less superficial purpose to these sessions, and it involves the unique bond between these couples.  It screams off the page in sessions like these.  That electric love experienced by both partners charges these images, and who doesn’t want that etched in something that lasts forever… say, film?

Well… Joyce, Joey and Ellen of Hong Studio: this is what I consider a mission accomplished:

I should note here that the shoot wasn’t wholly scandalous.  I mean, even the finest couple needs a few shots to take home to Grandma.  So, Grandma’s shots:

Precious.  Touching.  Totally innocuous.  Grandma will never catch on that they were just sexing it up, naked-style half an hour earlier.

Umm… s’cute! as my baby nephew says:

Here’s a fun fact: the breathtaking bride-to-be has her own eyelash studio in Vancouver, Canada.  Uh, wow, Joyce.  I’m impressed.  It’s called Noir Lash Lounge Inc. Sadly, I couldn’t be farther from Vancouver, and I don’t have a good enough reason to take a trip out there any time soon.  (My bank account doesn’t consider eyelashes a good enough reason, and I have to agree with it.)  Oh, and by the way, she’s not just the owner… she’s also a client!  HAHAHAHHHH yeah I’ll be here all week.

Photos: Hong Photography Studio // via Wedding Chicks

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INSPIRATION BOARD LOVE ♡ Crystal’s “Summertime Fun” on Style Me Pretty!

In lust with this cheery board created by Crystal Cook, a Style Circle member on Style Me Pretty.  The balloons were what caught my eye, but I stuck around for the desserts, mini pinwheels and general Summertime appeal!  Seriously, how lovely is this?!!

The weather here in NY today is fanfreakintastic.  I made sure to take a long walk outside and oh me oh my, HOW SWEET IT IS.  Get outside if you live in the metropolitan area, or wherever else the sun is shining warm and bright.  It feels like Summer out there!!

It’s supposed to be this gorgeous out tomorrow, too, and then things are expected to come to a screeching halt by Thursday.  Which is fabulous.

Go.  Frolic or something.  It’s Summertime in April… for a second.

Summertime Fun

A few faves of mine:

Jen Huang Photography

Agnes Lopez Photography

Jose Villa Photography

Credit: Crystal Cook // Style Me Pretty

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INSPIRATION BOARDS | Color Palette: Right in Between Some Blue and Some Green…

Totally in love with these two sets of dreamy shots by one fabulous board creator, Niki :D.  Of the first set, I’m obsessed with the goldfish shot, and the color of that fence in the upper right-hand corner makes my brain tingle with joy.  Truly brilliant coloring tends to have that effect on me.  (Yeah, I should probably get that checked – brain tingles?)

Of the second set, I’m completely in love with the ballooned toe.  I could have phrased that several different ways, but “ballooned toe” pleases me in an unparalleled way, so it stays.  (Just one of the perks of being the editor.)

I adore the way both sets teeter between the colors blue and green, without ever stepping into true blue or true green territory.  Quite remarkable to me.  Not to mention excellent wedding color scheme inspiration, in my opinion.


2. 73/365 (by Vanessa Paxton)

3. Is also friday for me!!!! (by Françoise Rachez)

Key to board above: 1. Vintage Blue,  2. 73/365,  3. Is also friday for me!!!!,  4. Old ladder,  5. winter butterfly,  6. 31/365,  7. inspired by vintage {tiffany},  8. the perfect fence,  9. dress code



3. Sad… (by Kimberly Chorney)

Key to board above: 1. hope is a waking dream. [ aristotle ],  2. Tiny Flowers,  3. Sad…,  4. ~~*~~,  5. COLLECTIONS {Shells II},  6. Bench Monday(Beautiful summer),  7. a gift,  8. Untitled,  9. Little Blue Bench,  10. signs of summer,  11. ~Upon a summer’s breeze,  12. Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

Boards created by: Niki :D

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{ DRESS LOVE } Sarah Seven will dress you up in heaven…

I’m really starting to fall for this dress-making diva, Sarah Seven.  She’s a force in the industry, and her unique, super feminine frocks have been speaking to me, lately.  Volumes.  With their frills and folds, their taut waistlines and flirty, unfinished hemlines, her creations have the unique femininity sought after by so many brides, let alone women in general.

I’m curious, what do you think of these frocks?  Do they fit your style?

By the way, if you like what you see here, you can visit Sarah Seven’s Etsy shop to check out what’s available!

Photos: Sarah Seven

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FRESH FASHION ♡ spring/summer line love… ♡ New Collection from Reiss!

Love.  These.

By the way, that model is STUNNING, is she not?  Maybe it’s really just her face and awesome hair that sell these threads for me.  ‘Cause I am hook, line and sinker for each and every one of them.  And I usually don’t adore an entire line like I do this one.  But just look at that punim!  I think she’s the only person in the world who could sell me a pair of overalls.

Some of these looks would work brilliantly as your (slightly risqué) reception frock, no?  Like this one, for instance:

There’s something about this dress that I love… alas, I’m a mere 5’4, and this shape requires HEIGHT.  So I shall continue to admire it from afar (as is so often my fate!).

Love the lace going on here – very bridal.  Not a HUGE fan of the pants, but then again… 5’4.

Umm… yes, please:

Photos: Reiss // via Dress Design Decor

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INSPIRATION SESSION LOVE ♥ from the moment they met to their wedding day… | Open Air Photography by Katie Stoops

This has got to be one of the most beautiful, painstakingly arranged inspiration sessions I’ve ever seen.  Just look at the attention to detail, the creative touches in the photography (the shot of the young miss applying red lipstick)… and just look at that black lace hat of hers!  Oh, how I would love to own that hat.  Is it called a hat, by the way?  Anybody?

My favorite shots of their first date…

{ More from Their First Date! }

Here’s a taste of the proposal segment (“She Said Yes”).  I especially adore this part of the shoot, because I recently went ice skating with my beau and it was way more fun than I expected.  Way. I hugely recommend it to you guys if you haven’t yet gone this season.  Hurry, before it’s too late!!!  Note: it may be too late.  ):

{ See more of She Said Yes! }

And here’s the wedding shoot…

Ahh.  Just lovely.

{ Check out the rest of The Wedding Day! }

Photo credit: Open Air Photography

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{ E-SESSION LOVE } Jenna + Steven ❥ Candy-Coated Enchantment | Kim Le Photography

People.  I just about died when I saw this e-session by Kim Le that Abby recently posted over on Style Me Pretty.  It’s major.  It’s what e-sessions are meant to look like.  For serious.

One of my simple pleasures in life is the way a group of photos can completely make my day.  I never know where they’ll be, or what they’ll depict, but when the moment hits me, it’s not unlike the feeling that comes over me when I find out Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna is on sale for 69 cents per can.  That was probably the least climactic thing you’ve read all day.  But they really were on sale last week at Food Emporium for 69 cents, and that’s unheard of around here.  And no, I don’t have kids.  I have a fiancé who loves his tunafish.

Anyway… here, check out a few more of my favorite shots from Jenna & Steven’s e-session:

Isn’t it just the most darling thing ever?  This couple is so photogenic, it’s ridiculous.  I mean, how much do you love them?

If you liked this – and I’m extremely confident that you did – then I strongly suggest taking a more comprehensive look at this enchanting little e-session by clicking right here!  Now, for one more taste…

By the way, canned tuna and candied e-sessions aren’t the only things that make my world go round.  But they definitely do their part to keep it spinning.

Credits: Style Me Pretty // Kim Le Photography

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{ DESSERT + FAVOR LOVE } Vintage Design Cake Boxes, Cupcake Wrappers and Cones!

Morning, everyone!  Just yesterday, I received in the mail my beloved Cox & Cox catalog.  As per usual, it’s filled to the brim with the most delightful details one could ask for in a wedding and, as per usual, it’s got me all hot and bothered.  Peculiar how pretty little tchotchkes can do that to a girl.  Anyway, gotta share some of the new swag to be had (plus a few oldies for good measure):

Vintage Design Cake Boxes – NEW!

Rose Cupcake Wrappers – NEW!

Vintage Design Cones – NEW!

Cupcake Stand – NOT NEW, BUT STILL!

Organza Favor Bags – NOT NEW AS WELL!

(Like these?  Well, using StazOn ink and other materials similar to those in this post on DIY Wedding Eye Candy, I created the CUTEST stamped bags to house some chocolate lollipops I made for Christmas last year.  I wish I had a picture of them to show you!  They were too cute, if I do say so myself.  It’s really so easy – I highly recommend making them yourself!)


Credit: Cox & Cox

Here’s a fun little aside: when I right-clicked on the word “tchotchkes” (top of post) just to check if I spelled it correctly, the dictionary offered up these suggestions:

  1. latchkeys
  2. hopscotches
  3. crotchless and
  4. hotcakes

Weird to the max.  My dictionary is advising me to write crotchless.  Anyway.


If you liked this, you’ll probably love DIY Edible Escort Table Numbers, and you may get a sugar high out of this.

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ANTHROPOLOGIE ❧ the bridal line launch!!! You Don’t Necessarily Need to Wait Until Spring 2011…

Some of you may have heard about this recently, but I suspect the majority of you are hunched over, gasping for air after reading the title of this post.

Well, the news is true.  Anthropologie, many a fashionable lady’s favorite store for boho-chic style, will be launching what a great number of us have always considered the dream scenario: a bridal line by the brand.  According to Lucky, Anthro will be offering its very own vintage wedding gowns, ranging in price from $750 t0 $5000.

Sound like your dream come true?  Well then don’t plan to hold your wedding before Spring 2011, as that’s when the brand plans to launch its bridal site, not to mention a few bridal stores in select cities (yes, ACTUAL STORES – I know, try to stay calm… but I totally agree this is awesome).

However, say you don’t feel like waiting around for this dress line.  Say you’ve already started planning your wedding, and you need a cute little frock, ASAP… and it HAS to be from Anthropologie.  Well guess what?  Good news!  I did some fishing and found that Anthropologie has no shortage of great wedding fair for the bohemian bride-to-be…


Beda Dress:

Dusky Alba Dress:

Drifting By Dress:

Zipped Rosettes Jacket:

Wind Catcher Dress:

Cherie Dress:

Now for a little randomness, in the key of white:


So, you can plan your wedding around Anthro’s schedule, or you can work with what you can get your hands on right now.

I’d say the gettin’s pretty good.  But I must admit – I CANNOT WAIT to see what Anthro unveils come this time next year.  I haven’t seen it, but I already love it. :)

By the way, you can find all these dresses here, at Anthropologie.  Have fun!

Want some more Anthro love?  Click here and here for a bit more on the store I adore.

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♡ WEDDING PARTY ♡ Second Installment ♡ ………..VERA WANG RUNWAY SHOW………..

Remember this sneak peek?  Of course you do – I haven’t experienced so much positive feedback since transitioning out of diapers.

Now, for this post, I’m gonna do something CRAZY.  And that’s cut the small talk.  Because this series of posts speaks volumes, and I don’t feel like shouting to share the stage.  ;) However, before we begin, here’s a quick word to the wise:

Bigger is always better…

So click on each photo if you want to feel like you were there with me.

Alright, without further adieu, I present to you… Vera.

Breathtaking, right?  When this show began, I remember becoming consumed by what was strutting immediately before me.  Unable to keep it inside, I turned to a friend seated next to me to whisper how I felt… “A sense of calm has washed over me.  I feel like I’m lazing in a spa, or floating on a thick cloud.  This is INTOXICATING.”

… Oh, and by the way, we are SO not done.

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♡ WEDDING PARTY! ♡ First Installment… Inspiration + Fashion + Wedding Pro Tips from This Weekend’s Wedding Library Event in NYC

As most of you already know, this past Saturday I attended one of the most FABULOUS wedding events around.  It was, of course, the “Wedding Party,” and it was bananas.  I’ll be presenting new photos and inspiration from the event every single day this week.  Let’s begin, shall we?

Commencing with our star players: the event was hosted by Claudia Hanlin and Jennifer Zabinski, the two lovely, remarkable women behind the Wedding Library, a chic wedding research boutique located on NYC’s upper east side.

Before I go on, I’d first like to extend my sincerest gratitude to Claudia and Jennifer for having me – the event was INTOXICATING (more on why I chose that word, in a later post) and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the experience, from start to finish.  (Truly, it was the best way I could have imagined spending my birthday!)

The Party, which began at 10:00 in the morning and lasted well into the afternoon, felt like it whipped by, due in large part to its uber-jam-packedness (yes, a made up word) with delicious goodies, jaw-dropping style, incredible people and breathtaking inspiration.  If you weren’t there, well, you’re probably going to regret it once you see the myriad photos I took of everything the event had to offer.

After Claudia and Jennifer welcomed everyone, they handed things over to the one… the only… Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Darcy has quite a presence.  She’s all sorts of charming, a bit self-deprecating and, most of all, brilliantly in touch with the wedding industry’s freshest trends and the bride collective’s deepest decorating desires.  I eat, sleep and breathe Martha Stewart Weddings, both print and net, yet still found myself hypnotized by the engaging musings and dazzling imagery delivered by this maven of matrimony.

Here, she shares with us the unexpected beauty afforded by an ice sculpture:

Here, a lovely tablescape:

Here, she speaks about the wedding of stationer Cheree Berry:

(Click here and here for loads of Cheree Berry wedding inspiration.)


You’re going to LOVE what’s in store this week… and I kinda can’t wait to share it all with you.  Here’s a sneak peek…

And another…

It’s gotta be in doses, however, because I’ve got a LOT to post.  I put my camera battery in a sleeper hold and didn’t let up over the course of nearly five hours.  Thank bejeezus my friend brought along her own, or I might have been that blonde girl openly crying in the second row during the Vera Wang runway show.

Fortunately, it didn’t go quite like that.  Instead, I snapped a bazillion photos, all beginning with this one:

Just wait until you see the rest.

Oh, and it’s not just gowns I’ll be posting… though the rush one experiences at a Vera Wang runway show is likely comparable to that achieved in summiting Mount Everest (I wouldn’t know firsthand, but it’s probably accurate).

I’ve got dessert tables that tantalize, wedding cakes coated in buttercream, colorful crafts for the creatives out there, and so much more.

So I’ll see you back here, soon, for the next installment!


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WEDDING INSPIRATION, IN THE ROUND | ~ balloons and bubblegum ~ | Perfect Ways to Make Your Pictures POP!

We all want our weddings to be great, and this can mean many things to many people.  It all depends on who you ask.  It can mean keeping with tradition.  It can mean standing out from the rest.  It can mean showing our personalities, and our uniqueness, both as individuals and as a couple.  However, regardless of how it’s defined, one thing’s for sure – we all want that extra special thing, whatever it may be, so that everyone who has come to celebrate this momentous occasion in our lives will remember it always, as our wedding.

So, how about balloons? :) Hehe.

Mansion from Tim Walker, via Santa Barbara Wedding Chic

Overexposed via Oh Happy Day

Photos by Jill Thomas, via Once Wed

Photos by Jessica Johnston

Photos by Caroline Tran, via The Knot

Photo by Max Wanger

By the way, remember this post?  Truly one of the more awesome balloon shoots I’ve had the pleasure of seeing…

Totally worth a look-see.

Ok, so clearly those are engagement shots – and while brilliant shots, they aren’t weddings.  So here’s an actual wedding with the balloon idea implemented.  I LOVE how the crisp, white spheres line both sides of the aisle, adding such incredible structure to the photos.  There’s an intensity here, with the focus so clearly on the marrying couple… and it’s very much a result of the double row of balloons, which serve to guide your eyes towards the center.  It’s clean, it’s powerful, and it’s beautiful.

Sticking with the white wedding theme, howsabout this…

Via Style Me Pretty

Via B Magazine

Here are a few more of my favorite engagement shots.  Don’t you love the creativity of these couples?  A prop like this can really ease out the playfulness that is so essential with engagement shoots.  The Bubblicious is your call.  If you teach for a living, I imagine it’s not for you.  (In fact, if you’re anything like the teachers I had in grade school, you’re probably aching for these girls to trash the chewing gum posthaste.)

Though, I must say, these two young ladies pull it off quite nicely…

Photos by SimplyBloom Photography, via Green Wedding Shoes

Photos by Jill Thomas, via Green Wedding Shoes


One last thing: I caught wind of The Cherry Blossom Girl on a visit to decor8 one day, and found this precious little balloon brooch, by Stolen Thunder.  If you really love balloons – like, REALLY – but don’t know if they fit in all that smoothly with the rest of your decor, well then here’s a darling way to show your affection for the them.  If it’s not the right fit for your look that day, then it could be the perfect bridesmaids’ gift, no?  I admit, I think it’s just too cute not to make up an excuse to buy a few of ‘em.  So that’s kind of what I’m doing right now. :)

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VINTAGE INSPIRED LOOKS + WIN A FREE ENGAGEMENT SESSION! | vintage wedding inspiration | Don’t Forget the Oranges!

Have you heard about this?  I got sooo excited when I learned of it – Heather and Kimberly announced on LA Style Unveiled that the amazing Jill Thomas of Jill Thomas Photography is offering one seriously lucky couple a Free Engagement Session!

Not only can you win a free engagement session with Jill Thomas, but first prize also includes a style and design consult for the session courtesy of Amorology Weddings.  Woweewawa!

So, what do I have to do, Alison?

Well, do you have any oranges handy?

Because all you need to do is send in a photo of yourself with those oranges, and describe what a “perfect date” would be for you and your beloved.  (I love contests like this; so heartwarming and fun, and this one in particular makes me dream about my recent trip to California!)

It all ends this Sunday on Valentine’s Day, so visit LA Style Unveiled for more details!

Now, here’s some more of Jill’s brilliant work to get you inspired…

I LOVE the hankies!!!  What a fabulous touch.  You could even embroider your own for a truly personalized look!

I adore the vintage inspired threads worn by the lovely ladies in this shoot.  Their ensembles lend to the romantic, delicate feel of the shoot.


I love the style of dress in these photographs so much, that I’ve gathered up a few looks from – where else – Anthro, that I thought might help you to complete the look.

Pictureshow Dress” by Anthro

Or may I suggest this fitted sweater, also from Anthro – called the “Small Packages Cardi,” layered over a simple chemise:

Layered History Chemise” by Anthro

Vanilla Bean Blouse

Hidden Hue Blouse

Though this “Optimist Dress” isn’t necessarily very close to the looks achieved in Thomas’ shoot, I fell in love with it and had to share:

List of vendors, courtesy of LA Style Unveiled:

Photography: Jill Thomas

Event design: Amorology Weddings
Florals: Twigg Botanicals
Hair: Kami Christensen
Hair/makeup: Kami Christensen and Paige Christensen
Wardrobe styling: Jill Thomas and Ben Bhristensen
Wardrobe: second hand, vintage, and anthropologie
Paper elements: Brightly Designed
Cakes: Flour and Flower
Boutonnieres: Peppermint Cloud
Hair pieces : Feathers and Frills
Bow ties: Me and Matilda

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ENGAGEMENT + VINTAGE WEDDING INSPIRATION | simplybloom photography | Miniature Golf, Maximum Color {followed by} Details, Details, Details…

Meet Phillip and Rachel…

Now, say hello to Vania and Christine, of SimplyBloom Photography

Those two young ladies above are responsible for the photographic heaven that follows…

This engagement session features Rachel and Phillip, a lovely couple who quite possibly have two of the most photogenic faces I’ve ever seen.  What do you think?

But it isn’t their shared cuteness that inspires me when I look at these photos… it’s all about the radiant color.  His faded red trousers, her bright yellow sundress… and I absolutely ADORE the choice to gather up that rainbow of golf balls for the intimate close-up shot.  Magnifique!   Who knew there was so much photographic beauty to be captured, on a miniature golf course.  Leave it to pros like Vania and Christine to figure that one out.

Shot after shot, I’m struck by the simple beauty of these photos.  Rachel and Phillip look like they’re genuinely having fun.  And that’s how it should be!  I just love it when it’s obvious.  I can’t get over the idyllic green scenery and how it mixes with their bubblegum threads.

Check out my favorites – a dance on the course…

And a sweet little moment too lovely for words.

Check out the rest of this shoot here.

{ Photo credit: SimplyBloom Photography }


By the way, this is the perfect time to show you some of my favorite shots from an absolutely darling inspiration session styled and shot by Vania and Christine.  I saw this soft, sweet loveliness on a visit to 100 Layer Cake, and have been meaning to show these pics some daylight.  I seriously couldn’t wait to show them to you!  The vintage feel of this shoot gets me so excited about all the little details that can go into your tablescapes alone!  And take a close look at that bouquet… according to 100 Layer Cake, it’s made of door knobs and drawer pulls from Anthropologie!  No shocker there, just another fine reason to love that store (as if I needed more reasons).  Details like these are what make my heart sing.

{ Photos: SimplyBloom Photography, via 100 Layer Cake }

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CARRIE UNDERWOOD | there’s something about Carrie… | “Hmm, it’s Nice… But Do You Have it in White?”

Awww, just look at them.  Aren’t they adorable?

Carrie with her fiance, hockey player Mike Fisher

{ 1, 2, 3 }

As we’ve come to expect from Carrie, she was a vision walking the red carpet, this time at the 2010 Grammy Awards in LA this past Sunday, January 31.

The details:

On her ears: Ippolita Silver…


On her bod: a white Edition by Georges Chakra…

And in her hand: a Swarovski crystal clutch…

Alright, let’s get to it here…

Have you noticed a pattern in Carrie’s signature style over the years?  I suspect you may have, as she’s been following it to a tee – almost religiously.  Carrie is pretty consistent… in fact, one might say there are no shades of gray (or much of any other color, for that matter, save for the occasional all black ensemble, and a few brightly colored numbers she’s sprinkled in over the years).

Are you picking up what I’m puttin’ down?

If it isn’t already obvious – and I do believe I’ve beaten it to a pulp at this point – the 26-year-old has a rather serious penchant for evening gowns and cocktail dresses that keep it on the whiter side of things.  She clearly knows what works for her, and isn’t afraid to stick with it.  Sort of like back in grade school, whenever I found a top that fit me just right, I’d leave the store with at least three, in different colors.  (Noooo, I didn’t catch flack for that.)  So I feel ya, Carrie.

Here, flip through these and you’ll see what I mean…

[flagallery gid=10 name="Lady in (shades of) white"]

So, with that said, are you thinking what I’m thinking?  If you are, then that makes two of us who cannot wait to find out what the future Mrs. Fisher will be wearing for that walk down a very different kind of carpet.  Hint hint, nudge nudge.

She’s certainly gotten in some good practice. ;)

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WEDDING DRESS LOVE | feminine + delicate + alluring | Elizabeth Dye ~ The English Dept

Checking my Google Reader is ALWAYS a thrill, especially when I haven’t been by in a bit and there’s a lot through which to wade.  I hear some people don’t like that, and I can see how it could quickly become overwhelming… but I dig it.  I never know what’s in store for me, and I love it that way.

I swear, it feels like Christmas each and every time.  Especially given the fact that I can usually expect to see a post or two about beautiful paper, lovely note cards or pretty packaging.  So yeah, Christmas.

… So, imagine my delight when I clicked on the feed of one of my favorite blogs, Eat Drink Chic, and caught a glimpse of these:

Lovely, right?

It has been a challenge to hold these in over an entire weekend.

I seriously could not wait to show them to you!  These gowns are just a few of the many unbelievable pieces Elizabeth Dye has created as part of her Spring 2010 Collection.  I love them and openly covet them.  I wish (I could afford/it wouldn’t look ridiculous to) wear each and every one of them on my wedding day.  Aren’t they all just darling in their own, unique ways?


Oysters and Pearls



Elizabeth works out of her studio in Portland, Oregon and owns a shop called The English Dept.  Don’t live anywhere near there?  No problem.  She also has a cozy little Etsy shop by the same name, where you can view a few of her inspiring designs – not to mention grab one for yourself if you’re in the market.

By the way, I love her custom work, too.  Especially this little number…

How cute does this bride look?  I love that she’s got to get on her tippy toes in order to lock lips with her hubby!  So precious.

Here’s another one of Elizabeth’s darling designs – it’s called “Ghost,” and it comes in both a long version…

And a short one!

I’m kind of loving the set design here, too.  And if I ever launch a line of wedding attire and need to do a model search, this gal will absolutely be on my short list.  Just look at that punim!  Gorgeous.

{ Photo credit: Lisa Warninger }


Oh, by the way, here are a couple of cookies.

‘Cause it’s Monday, and you deserve it.

{ Where I got the cookies! }

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happy new year, friends. 2010 approaches…

{I love flickr}

Happy New Year’s Eve, you crazy kids!  Hope you’re living it up somewhere out there, and with an umbrella handy!  The boy and I will be ringing in the ’10 with a darling little bottle of Pommery Champagne – a gift to us from Reims, France, from my wonderful dad.  (Thanks Dad.  Love you lots; hope you have a Happy New Year.)

Keeping it brief – really just wanted to wish everyone an awesome evening tonight.  Stay safe, stay snuggly, stay close to the ones you love.  Thanks to my family, friends and my incredible readers for a spectacular year.  I’m so excited for this new year we have ahead of us.

So much to come, it is RI. DIC. U. LOUS.

See you in 2010!

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